It’s common to develop dark circular spots on your face and neck due to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) and melanin overproduction. Known as freckles, these marks can dull your face and mar your beauty, no matter how good is your hairstyle. That’s why we must know how to get rid of freckles. Mostly the cause for freckles is the genetic condition or too much exposure to the sun. However, if these are not the reasons, then these dark spots on your skin could be due to dangerous skin cancer and require urgent medical assistance.
You might want to know: do freckles go away once they appear? We’ll discuss that today! We’ll tell you why freckles appear and the best ways to get rid of them.
Why Do Freckles Appear?
Before diving into how to get rid of freckles, we want to tell you what causes freckles. First off, you should know what exactly freckles are. Mainly caused by sun exposure, these are dark brown spots appearing on the face, neck, and arms. Freckles appear due to excess melanin, which oversees skin and hair pigmentation. Overall, UV radiation is also a major cause of freckles.
The two common types of freckles are ephelides and solar lentigines. While the two categories of spots may appear similar, they differ in various aspects, such as their development. Ephelides are the most common marks appearing on the skin. On the other hand, solar lentigines only emerge in adulthood and comprise different marks, such as aging spots, sunspots, and freckles.
Sun exposure and sunburns are the most widespread causes of ephelides. The ephelides surface on any skin, not protected enough from UV rays. The most frequent areas of their emergence are the face, upper body, and the back of your hands. People with light skin and hair color run the most risk of ephelides occurrence. So, you can say Asians and Caucasians are more vulnerable than other descents.
Contrarily, solar lentigines develop due to old age. It’s more widespread with people aged over 40. Like ephelides, they also target Caucasians the most. However, the crucial question is can you get rid of freckles? Yes, you can, and we are going to share the remedies in the next section.
How to Get Rid of Freckles?
Now that we know the types of freckles and why do they appear, next, we will explore how to get rid of freckles. Below are the top seven tips to help you avoid dark spots.
Do you want to know how to get rid of freckles on face easily? Well, the most obvious combatant of freckles is sunscreen. If you constantly develop dark marks on your face after outdoor visits, then sunscreen is the best solution. However, understand that sunscreens won’t cure the already visible freckles and only prevent the new ones from appearing.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you can follow some tips to improve the effectiveness of sunscreen against freckles. To start with, always apply sunscreen 15 minutes before leaving your house. Moreover, after excessive sweating or swimming, you should reapply the sunscreen right away. Normally, it’s better to reapply it after every 2 hours. However, ensure that the sunscreen has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more.
Another way to get rid of freckles is undergoing cryosurgery, which focuses on wiping out the abnormal skin cells. The surgery freezes the skin cells by using extensive cold in the form of liquid nitrogen before destroying them.
Generally, cryosurgery is a safe measure to eliminate freckles, needing little recovery time with no anesthesia required. Moreover, it rarely leaves behind any scars. However, some notable side effects include bleeding, blistering, and hypopigmentation.
3. Chemical Peel
To get rid of freckles, use a chemical peel. It removes the infected skin and allows a new one to grow underneath. The process utilizes a chemical solution to “peel” off the affected skin. For freckles specifically, the peeling requires the trichloroacetic or glycolic acid to reach the skin’s middle layers.
Once the process removes the damaged skin, the new one takes its place. However, chemical peels may require up to 2 weeks to heal the skin together with the daily application of ointments. You also have to take prescriptions and avoid the sun until the skin heals. Moreover, a chemical peel may cause swelling, redness, irritation, stinging, and crusting.
4. Retinoid Cream
The retinoid cream is a chemical mixture rich in Vitamin A and renowned for tackling skin spots. The ointment works best against skin affected by sun exposure and dulls the freckles.
A 2014 review reveals that the retinoid cream is efficient at soaking up UV B radiations, offering photoprotection to the skin. However, this remedy also comes with some side effects, such as skin irritation, dryness, redness, and peeling.
5. Fading Cream
Like retinoid, fading cream is also an excellent combatant of freckles. Also known as bleaching cream, you can get it from any medical store. The fading cream has hydroquinone, an ingredient capable of stopping the overproduction of melanin and lessening the dark areas on the skin.
However, like other treatments, this method also has adverse effects like skin discoloration, dryness, blistering, burning, and inflammation.
6. Laser Treatment
So, how to get rid of freckles fast with laser treatment. The process includes running rays of intense light over the affected skin to tackle freckles.
A study conducted in 2015 unveils that the 1064 Q-switched ND YAG laser is most successful to treat freckles. Moreover, this laser’s use lessened the intensity of more than half of the freckles in 62 percent of the research sample.
However, laser treatment also accompanies negative effects such as changing skin colors, peeling, infection, redness, swelling, itching, and crustiness. Moreover, you should be careful with this treatment if you have prior medical conditions like oral herpes. In such a case, you may also need medication before undergoing laser treatment. The reason: rays may cause herpes flare-ups around the mouth.
Therefore, it’s prudent to let your doctor know about any health conditions you have and the skin products you’re currently using. Accordingly, they may prescribe creams or other medication before continuing the laser treatment. Furthermore, they may guide you on medication or skin products you should avoid before the procedure. Laser treatments may require multiple turns to see the desired results. Also, it may take up to 2 weeks to recover from the procedure.
7. Natural Treatment
Now we will explore how to get rid of freckles naturally. Although not scientifically proven, below are some famous natural remedies that are harmless when used moderately.
1. Almond Oil : Those thinking about how to get rid of freckles fret no more. Rich in Vitamin A and E, almond oil is a wonderful remedy for freckles. It reduces the pigmentation and refreshes the skin by eliminating the dark spots. Heat 2-3 drops of the oil and massage the affected skin area with your fingers. Once the skin absorbs the oil, wash the area with warm water.
2. Mint and Banana Mixture: Mint offers an ample supply of antioxidants effective against fighting freckles, whereas nutrients in Banana keep the skin hydrated. The solution would require a mixture of mint puree and mashed bananas. Apply the remedy on your skin and leave it for 10 minutes. For optimum results, repeat the treatment at least three times a week.
3. Buttermilk: It is not only a superb combatant against freckles, but also hydrates our skin. You’ll need it in thick paste form, so consider mixing it with oatmeal to achieve this. Once ready, apply it to your skin and leave it for 15 minutes before washing it with warm water. To speed up the process, apply the remedy at least twice a week.
4. Lemon Juice: Another marvelous natural remedy to lighten the freckles and other skin pigmentations is lemon juice. It is not only beneficial against freckles but also combats with other dark skin spots like blemishes. Extract up to 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and rub it across the affected skin using your fingers. Leave the remedy for 10 minutes on the skin before washing with water. For best results, repeat the process twice a day.
5. Aloe Vera: Another excellent way to get rid of freckles is the use of Aloe Vera. The Aloesin component is an effective curer for freckles and reducing other skin pigmentations. The best way to use Aloe Vera as a skin remedy is in gel form. You can either purchase an Aloe Vera gel from the market or extract it from the plant itself. Apply the gel all over the affected skin and leave it for 15 minutes, and then wash the skin with cold water. Consider following this process daily for best results.
6. Onion: Do you want to know how to get rid of freckles on arms? Try onion! It can exfoliate the freckles and lighten all dark skin spots. Run the onion all over the affected skin and wash it with cold water.
Freckles are dark spots that develop on the face, neck, and arms due to exposure to UV rays and melanin overproduction. While very few people love to have them on their faces for a unique look, the majority want to know how to get rid of freckles. We now have technical methods to remove freckles, such as cryosurgery and laser treatments. Moreover, you can try conventional ways like fading and retinoid creams. Besides, you can experiment with natural remedies such as buttermilk and Aloe Vera gel. However, if you feel any skin irritation, stop the treatment immediately and discuss it with your doctor.